Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said that the US no longer views Hong Kong as politically autonomous from China. ’Today, I reported to Congress that Hong Kong is no longer autonomous from China’, Pompeo tweeted, adding that the US will support the people of Hong Kong. Pompeo’s stance comes days after Beijing moved to impose new national security legislation on the territory.
The last remaining hospital patient in New Zealand was discharged in Auckland Wednesday in the latest mark of success for the country’s response to the pandemic. It also marked the fifth consecutive day with no new cases reported in the country. The number of active cases remained at just 21, and there were no additional deaths. New Zealand had about 1,500 cases and only 21 deaths of Covid-19.
Germany’s Interior Minister Horst Seehofer announced Wednesday that anti-Semitic attacks rose by 13% from 2018-2019, blaming right-wing radicals. 2019’s figures are the highest number in attacks recorded since statistical reporting began in 2001. In 2019, 2,032 crimes were registered with an anti-Semitic background, and Seehofer said more than 90% of those were perpetrated by right-wing radicals.
Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro could be toppled as the country’s president, say analysts, as the leader’s dismissive attitude towards the pandemic have cost many lives. Brazil is currently the hotspot of Covid-19, with more cases reported in a week than any other country. Analysts say Bolsonaro has repeatedly downplayed the impact of the virus, often condemning states’ confinement measures for job loses
Police in Iran arrested a man accused of beheading his teenage daughter in an ’honor killing’. Romina Ashrafi, 14, had fled home with her 35-year-old boyfriend after her father objected to their marriage. The pair were found by cops and Romina was sent home despite saying she feared for her life. After the killing, the father walked outside the house ’with the sickle in his hand and confessed’.
The French government has banned the use of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment to patients suffering severe forms of COVID-19. The move is the first by a country since the WHO said it was pausing a large trial of the malaria drug on COVID-19 patients due to safety concerns.
Tougher social distancing curbs have returned in South Korea after the biggest daily spike in cases in the last eight weeks was witnessed in the country. South Korea reported an increase of 79 new coronavirus cases on Thursday with the country preparing for a second wave of the pandemic.
Thousands of people took to the streets to protest and show their anger over the newly proposed national security legislation by China. The legislation has raised international alarm regarding the freedom in the city. The police responded to the protests by firing pepper pellets as well as arresting 360 people.
Indian and Chinese soldiers are in a standoff in the Ladakh region, with the two countries amassing soldiers and machinery. The standoff began in early May when large contingents of Chinese soldiers entered deep inside Indian-controlled territory at three places in Ladakh, erecting tents and posts. Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said the situation was ’generally stable and controllable’.
The U.S. cleared a hurdle to securing the extradition of Huawei’s CFO over alleged Iran sanction violations. TechCrunch reported that the Supreme Court of British Columbia ruled that Meng Wanzhou’s case met the standard for ’double criminality’ — that is, what she allegedly did was also illegal in Canada when she was arrested. This is necessary but there are still several steps before extradition.
On Wednesday, a fire sprung out in a makeshift isolation unit treating COVID-19 patients at United Hospital in a city in Dhaka. It left five patients dead which included 4 men and a woman aged between 45 and 75. The fire was put out in an hours time, however, the source of the same could not be found.
Police in Hong Kong have fired pepper pellets at protesters and arrested 240 people as legislators gather to debate a bill that would criminalize insulting China’s national anthem. Protests are taking place in several locations. The latest protests in Hong Kong follow China’s proposal for national security legislation aimed at tackling secession, subversion and terrorist activities in the city.
An Indian mystic who claimed he survived without food or water has died at the age of 90. A team of medical professionals in 2010 conducted a two-week observation on the yogi Prahlad Jain and reported that he did not use the restroom, eat or drink any fluids during the period. ’We still do not know how he survives’, said the lead neurologist, though the results have never been peer-reviewed.
26 people have been arrested in France and Belgium in connection with the deaths of 39 Vietnamese migrants found in the back of a truck near London last year. Belgian prosecutors said those held are suspected of running a people smuggling network believed to be behind the tragedy. The dead, including two 15-year-old boys, were found on an industrial estate last October.
The European Commission unveiled plans for a Euro 750 billion recovery fund amid the COVID-19 crisis. It will borrow these funds and then disburse them via the European budget. They will be repaid between 2028 and 2058. The amount includes Euros 500 billion in grants and Euros 250 billion in loans to member states.
Two walkers, missing for 19 days, have been found in the New Zealand wilderness. Jessica O’Connor and Dion Reynolds began walking in the Kahurangi National Park on 9 May. The two were lost in fog, following which they were both injured in a fall. They found water and were rescued when a search helicopter noticed smoke from their camp fire. The Kahurangi is NZ’s second biggest national park.
US President Trump said on Tuesday that the US is working on a strong response to China’s planned national security legislation for Hong Kong and would be announced before the weekend. However Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lijian responded with a warning that, China will not accept any foreign interference pertaining to Hong Kong, and they would take necessary countermeasures to hit back.
French energy firm EDF is seeking regulatory consent to start construction on twin EPR nuclear reactors capable of generating 3.2GW. Sizewell C will be the sister plant of Hinkley Point C and so is expected to have lower construction costs. The power plant is expected to play an important role in the UK’s goal of net zero carbon emissions. Critics have raised concerns about possible cost overruns.